Former 'Batman' star helps unmask BPH

May 23, 2006

Adam West, the star of TV's "Batman" series in the 1960s, has takenon a new role: helping to raise awareness about BPH. The actor saidhe suffered from the "pressures and anxieties" of BPH for 5 yearsbefore he finally saw a urologist at the urging of his wife,Marcelle West.

Adam West, the star of TV's "Batman" series in the 1960s, has taken on a new role: helping to raise awareness about BPH. The actor said he suffered from the "pressures and anxieties" of BPH for 5 years before he finally saw a urologist at the urging of his wife, Marcelle West.

"When you travel and you have anxieties and pressures anyway with your work, it becomes pretty tiresome," he told Urology Times following an appearance at the AUA meeting yesterday. "My wife, who's a very smart lady, said 'you've got to see a urologist.'"

The Wests are joining the "Unmasking BPH" campaign to heighten awareness about BPH among both men and women, and to encourage men to talk to their physicians about it. Marcelle West is working with her husband to urge women to learn how to recognize the condition and to help their husbands seek diagnosis and treatment.

The campaign includes a newly launched web site, www.talkaboutBPH.com, which offers information about enlarged prostate, tips for a physician visit, and treatment options. Men can fill out a form, which acknowledges their commitment to see a doctor about their urinary symptoms, among other health issues. The site also includes a special section specifically for women that provides tips to encourage them to take an active role in discussing the condition.

The campaign is sponsored by sanofi-aventis, the maker of alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral).

"My reason for being here, because I'm a known person, is to urge all the guys out there in the plainest way I can, if they're experiencing some of these discomforts, to see their urologist, or at least go to this web site," West said, "because they don't have to live with this."

Lewis Kriteman, MD, a Roswell, GA urologist, agreed that aging baby boomers can benefit from increased awareness that BPH is not a normal part of aging.

"A lot of men think this is what their father went through and what their grandfather went through, and they think this is what lies ahead for them," Dr. Kriteman said. "That doesn't necessarily have to be the case. We have medications, we have treatments, we have procedures to make them void much better."